…meant wearing a bathing suit and smelling like sunscreen 16 hours a day.
…meant doing without air conditioning, carpet, dryers and water drinkable from the tap.
…meant sleeping on the porch which fit three beds, one a wooden army cot from WWII.
…meant evacuating the porch and finding somewhere else to sleep if it stormed during the night.
…meant wearing shoes once a week to go to church.
…meant sweeping up a pound of sand every day from the front screened porch.
…meant knowing if you touched the wrong spot on the stove you’d be shocked.
…meant story-telling on the front porch after dark.
…meant turning the light on by pulling a string hanging from the ceiling.
…meant plays put on by the cousins for the adults.
…meant living not by the clock, but by the sun and tides.
…meant pancake eating contests in the morning (the most I ever ate was 15).
…meant going crabbing in the mornings using an old string with one end wound around a stick, some loose bolts and nails for weight and perhaps a chicken neck for bait.
…meant hearing the waves and the wind in the palm trees every moment of the day and night.
…meant everyone taking a nap in the afternoon, no matter the age.
…meant a large refrigerator on the back porch from well before you were born that worked beautifully and was the holding place for watermelon and beer.
…meant not worrying about what your hair looked like.
…meant building a hut out of bamboo and palm fronds.
…meant learning how to play gin rummy, slapjack and war.
…meant iron beds, ladder-back chairs, a wood burning stove original to the house (full of tools), a porch swing, a dining table so big that it was built in place.
…meant every “window” sill lined with rows of shells, some collected fifty years ago.
…meant putting wet washcloths in the freezer for 20 minutes, taking them out frozen solid, and putting them on your head when the temperature was above 100 for days on end.
…meant having the beach to yourself.
8 thoughts on “Memories of staying during the summer in a century-old beach house in "old" north Florida…”
It sounds wonderful, all in all 🙂
Sister, I couldn't have described it any better if I tried! Thank you for reminding me that some of the sweetest things don't cost a dime 🙂
Actually, you *did* describe it better! I remember the article you wrote for the paper – it was great. (:
Quando não achamos mais chão em baixo dos nossos pés acabamos entrando em desespero, foi isso o que me aconteceu esses dias, porém jamais deixei de acreditar na força de Jesus. Ao acaso acabei acessando seu belíssimo blog e me deparei com suas palavras confortantes, a principio pensei “como é possível orar com meus pés, isso deve ser alguma brincadeira!” mais ao ver a mensagem que você passou com doçura acabou tocando meu coração. Obrigado por me fazer feliz esta noite! Deus a abençoe eternamente! 🙂
Rodrigo Martins (Tarsier).
Rodrigo, eu estou tão feliz que tenha gostado de visitar e que essas palavras lhe trouxe conforto e felicidade. Você é bem-vindo de volta a qualquer momento. Obrigado pelas suas amáveis palavras!
That sounds amazing…. I have some similar memories, although it was more “lap of luxury” as it was with a rich French family… but the sand, the beach, the food, the hours spent outdoors building little huts out of the foliage, the giant hill of a driveway that I finally managed to bike up (and not walk it!) by the end of my time with them… 🙂 the big porch swing the size of a couch that I could nap on, pulling the long plastic dining room table out onto the porch for dinner, NOT trying steak tar-tar…. pizzas with an egg cooked into the middle… searching for mussels and always coming back with sliced up toes (from said mussels), the snack shack at the inlet beach, learning to wakeboard. What memories!
Those do sound like lovely memories, Kh. Patty!
We were just there and are always in awe that the “old place” is still standing. It's a remarkable house. Papa has made two hatches where the jalousie windows were and plans to make them across the porch. The breeze was wonderful and the water just right for swimming. We were fortunate. So glad that your children had a chance to visit. In this day and time, its like an adventure and we just thought of it as a “summer house.”